On March 2, 2023, Law Forward filed a complaint with the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) against Michael Gableman for how he conducted the sham review of Wisconsin’s 2020 election. 

OLR is the agency of the Wisconsin Supreme Court charged with investigating and prosecuting violations of the ethical rules that bind lawyers and judges. Our complaint against Mr. Gableman is based on an extensive review of his actions over the last three years. His conduct resulted in at least two prior complaints.

In the over 100-page complaint, we collect conclusive evidence that Mr. Gableman: 

1) conducted himself in a way that regularly fell below the minimum standard of competence for lawyers in Wisconsin;

2) consistently lied—to government officials, to the Legislature, to courts, and to the public;

3) pursued frivolous litigation claims and abused legal processes, harassing those with whom he disagrees politically;

4) failed to follow the rules that govern attorney-client relationships;

5) violated basic rules of legal practice;

6) completely disregarded every part of the oath he took as an attorney. 

We are asking that OLR conduct an investigation, thoroughly explore each of our allegations, and hold Mr. Gableman accountable for his misconduct. Our justice system can work only if everyone plays by the same rules. That is part of the promise—and the obligation—of living under the rule of law. OLR will determine the appropriate sanctions for Mr. Gabelman’s misconduct. We urge OLR to move quickly and to treat Mr. Gableman the same as it would any other Wisconsin attorney who committed such rampant ethical violations. 

In America, voters decide elections—and through his misconduct Mr. Gableman did lasting damage to the public’s faith in the democratic process. He tried to overturn the will of the people through a sham review undermining the free, fair, and certified November 2020 election. He repeatedly refused to share key details about the operation Wisconsin tax dollars funded, hired conspiracy theorists whose claims have been proven untrue in court, improperly pursued unlawful subpoenas in order to intimidate voters who don’t look or live like him and officials with whom he disagreed, and fostered and amplified a disinformation campaign that attacks our freedom to vote and attempts to undermine any future election results. 

Conspirators who plan and promote overturning the will of the people must be held accountable. Those who do so while violating their obligations as attorneys must also be accountable under the rules of ethics governing the legal profession. 

The votes in the November 2020 election were counted in every municipality by trusted local officials, in the presence of representatives from both parties, and machines across the state were subject to an official audit. Despite this, Mr. Gableman promoted conspiracy theories from rightwing partisans who wish to sow doubt on our election systems. His actions were and continue to be a threat to democracy, plain and simple, and a violation of his sworn duty to uphold both the U.S. and Wisconsin constitutions.